Help Petition MS to Support Standards

Thursday August 12th, 1999

Eric Krock writes, "The Web Standards Project has launched a petition drive to pressure Microsoft to support HTML 4.0, CSS1, DOM1, and XML in IE. Read the press releases here and here.

... then sign your name to the petition by sending an email from this page."

With Microsoft's posturing regarding messaging standards recently, you might have forgotten that Internet Explorer is not yet standards compliant. Microsoft, in fact, has yet to commit to full standards compliance.

It took the WSP nine months, but they seem to have finally gotten around to petitioning Microsoft on this issue (as you may recall, they petitioned last year).

Now if they could only petition the W3C to revamp their faulty standards process. The W3C could start by creating a certification process for browsers. A standard isn't a standard if there isn't some body enforcing the standard and giving its certification. Would you buy a bike helmet that wasn't approved by a standards body? A car with seatbelts that didn't meet safety standards? A TV that wasn't certifiably able to interpret the signal coming into it?

The W3C could then follow up by creating a verifiable implementation of the standard themselves, instead of forcing the browser makers to spend countless hours and dollars working through vagaries and inconsistencies in the "finalized" spec. (I have seen indication of this at times in the mozilla forums - I'd love it if a developer would speak up and give us a concrete example or two). Seeing as there is no longer a browser "market" - other than the incidental revenues browsers can draw in from portal sites - it seems silly to force browser makers to shoulder the burden of winnowing the standards specifications.

What do you think? Is it time for more fundamental changes in the web standards process? Let us know what you think in the talkback forum.

#8 Help Petition MS to Support Standards

by Anon

Friday August 13th, 1999 6:38 AM

You are replying to this message

The WSP are a lobbying group, they are not programmers, OS developers. They have every right to promote the view of a large populace of web developers. And if that appears to be whining, it is only because some people like you are still not listening.

Why shouldn't the government intervene on the stanards certification level? Isn't that fact that the lack of browser parity is costing the industry millions a year in dual-site development costs enough for them. This is the biggest new industry in the world, it will be worth thousands of billions and so will be the wasted costs if standards aren't adopted. Can a responsible government allow this industry to be crippled by bickering over standards compliance that does -not- have to affect a companies market dominance.

Accepting standards would be no skin of Microsofts nose. Their business would not suffer from a rendering engine that adhered 100%.

Why shouldn't Microsoft adopt the core engine produced by the Mozilla project, if it turns out to be as well an engineered project as it promises to be. The chrome, the desktop, the OS would all still be MS's, but the browser would render like all others.

If Mozilla were to distance itself further from Netscape, surely this could be made less of a political loss for the behemoth.